Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Florida Siberians

I like the beach, but don't drink the water it tastes yucky!

I have had several inquiries on how I am Florida Siberian, and how I survive this.
Yes we can and do survive in Florida. We need extra care to protect us from the heat, but that is what air conditioning is for, and ceiling fans, and cool drinks, and pools and cool tile floors.
Now I am a native Floridian dog, (unlike my Mom and Dad, who are from the north and west, and moved all over the country.....) I have never known really cold weather, or snow, or anything like it. I still get a heavy double layered coat in the winter, Mom still has to groom me a lot. I shed nearly year round. I am kept cool in the summer. We don't go for walkies until dark when it is warm, afterward I usually go stand in the pool or pond to cool down, I like the feel of cool water on my belly. I stay in the air conditioning when it is too hot out. The pavement can hurt my feet if we walk during the day, like we see so many other dogs do, and my Mom thinks that the humans don't realize how hot it is on our feet.
Now people tell Mom that I shouldn't live here, that it is sad, I don't feel that way, and it upsets Mom. People with Pomeranian's don't hear this, and they have more fur than me! There are a lot of Husky's here in Florida, and as long as we are treated right there should be no problem for a northern breed to live here. It takes adjustment, and the right Moms and Dads to take care of us, but we can and do survive in Florida just fine!

From Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida

Siberians in Florida you say??!!

Its too hot! - How can they survive? - You must have to shave them in that heat!

Siberian Huskies are a beautiful breed. Of course, people like us at this site think they are THE most beautiful breed. Just looking at them is a delight. But the gorgeous dogs you see at dog shows got that way because of the work the owner put into the dog in maintaining the coat. Living with double coated dogs means that you must have an understanding that they shed and you WILL have hair in the house. If you don't like grooming and vacuuming up hair in your house, this is NOT the breed for you!

The Siberian Husky should never be closely clipped or shaved except in medical emergencies. Yes, there are "professional" groomers out there who will tell you to shave your Husky. They will even do it without asking your consent! There are also Vets who will tell you it is acceptable to shave your Husky. Most Vets though will take the CYA approach and say something nebulous like “No trimming or shaving of hair is required or recommended” but they will draw the line at outright saying “Don’t do it” implying that if you still want to do it go ahead, it’s your decision. While it may result in a non-issue in some cases the potential for problems ranging from mild to severe make the choice an easy one - err on the side of the dog’s safety.

Other than during coat-blowing season (usually twice a year)(Mom's note-,day and night) the Siberian needs very little grooming. Just occasional brushing to remove dead hair and keep the coat fresh and shiny is required. Their nails should be checked and clipped periodically, and their feet should be checked regularly to ensure good health, particularly in actively working dogs.

The northern breeds have a double coat. This double coat consists of an undercoat that is soft and short. The outer coat is made up of longer guard hair. This outer coat has a sleek sheen, when healthy, and water dropped on this coat will most often run off, never penetrating to the undercoat.

The coat combination offers excellent thermal protection for the dog from extremes of cold and heat.

Northern dogs, like the desert peoples of the Sahara, are better off fully dressed than nude. Shaving away the outer coat exposes the undercoat, which cannot adequately protect the skin from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. This can lead to severe sunburn.

Dogs do not sweat like humans. Their cooling process is done via panting from the mouth, sweating at the paws and cooling the blood in their ears. Shaving the dog does nothing to keep the dog cool. It just makes the human feel better when looking at the coated dog.

The Siberian Husky has little to no pigmentation in its skin, and is especially vulnerable at the pink skin under the white hair. If you shave the Husky, you expose its skin to the sun without protection. Now you have a dog that may come up with a variety of skin problems including skin cancer.

Another reason to NOT shave your Husky is that the fur acts as a protection against insects, mites and parasites. Once you remove that protection the dog is exposed to even more insect problems than he would have had if he had been allowed to keep his protective coat. The Husky “color-coat”, also known as the top coat, works as a reflective barrier. Shaving this coat exposes the undercoat and when the two coats grow back they no longer “blend” properly to allow the maximum protection necessary or maintain the look in which the husky is known for.


Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Tank Woo fur the PSSA!

Mom waits until later in the day/evening fur my summer walks...that's khool bekhause we usually have some bats flitting around with us then!

Not only is the pavement warm fur our feety feet, we are khloser to the ground and the radiant heat!

I love how tips fur keeping khool!

Khyra The Pawsylvania Siberian

Nibbles Treats said...

Sounds like you have one smart mom and dad. Our mom used to live in Tampa (Go South Florida Bulls!) and she knows just how hot it can get. Smart thinking about the night walks. Enjoy the pool! :-)

Tinkerbell, Oscar and Tucker

Princess Eva and Brice, the Duke of Destruction said...

Great PSA!

Even up north, Momma always tests the heat of the pavement with her bare feet before we go for walks.

Princess Eva

Biloxi and Siber-sibs said...

Youse has a good Maw and Pa who know how to care for woo. My Maw even knows someone in Flooreeda dat shows a Samoyed. Dey has lots of fur too!
Enjoy da AC and da nice cool pool!

Husky kisses,

Painter Pack said...

Wees can tell that the mommy loves woo very much! A Sibe living in Florida is no different than a weiner dog living in Alaska! We always gots to take precautions with the footys and weather. Some good pointers woo have on pools!

Mya Boo Boo

The Army of Four said...

The idiots who chained me to a tree for the first year and a half of my life did a partial shave job on me. It was NOT a good thing!
Great post, Kira!
Play bows,

Ozzie the OZmonster said...

Hi Kira,

Your pond looks lovely! I am looking forward to my first summer in Georgia. I think that if John and Kelly get a pond, that I will be just fine. I think I'll show them this picture so that they get the idea.


Dughallmor Beagles said...

Well we think it's so cool how you're a Florida Sibe and your folks obviously know their look perfectly happy and healthy to us! Pfff, flippin do-gooders! Tell your Mom not to let it upset her, you look great and some people think they just know it all :o)
Slobbers xx

BeadedTail said...

I don't know why people think that Siberian Huskies can't live in FL - that's just crazy! You adapt to wherever you live and you don't need snow to be happy. Your mom shouldn't get upset when people say that - it's their loss they don't get to have a wonderful Siberian like you!